I’m sitting at my kitchen table, the slider open to the summer night sounds. It’s warm and the air is heavy with expected rain, and the sky is slowly overcome with thunderheads climbing and tumbling forward.
The coming storm is a beautiful and dreadful thing. Pulsing electric and alive. Capable of bringing life . . . and destruction in equal measure.
Two hundred and forty years ago, a group of men signed a document declaring their independence from a separate nation. In doing so they launched a grand experiment. One where there are self-evident truths: “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
But our freedom is a beautiful and dreadful thing.
Our freedom has the power to make us great.
To enable us turn to our fellow man and grant him his life, his liberty, his pursuit of joy.
But it also allows us the ability to grasp for our own rights.
To demand that others work and serve us. That unalienable rights need only apply to one. That Me and Mine can swallow US whole.
And I fear. I fear that we are swinging to a desperate scramble to clutch our own equality and in doing so we break down the very system that has given us our freedom.
But even so, even “though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, the though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging”, there is beauty to be found…if we look for it.
The breeze blowing through the slider lifts a bloom from the delicate orchid on my table and scatters it to the floor, and then another. The remaining petals papery and dry, cling to the stalk. The veins are dark raised against the coming end.
But even this death is a beautiful thing. The bloom died to give a seed, new life–not to itself, but to another.
Will you choose to do the same?
How will you use your freedom?
Today as you celebrate the Fourth of July with fireworks, hot dogs, and ice cream, I challenge you to find a way—even if it’s small—to show true freedom and sacrifice for another.Tweet This
Show those around you that their freedom–their right to life, liberty, and happiness is just as important as yours.
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